cli-based printer configuration tool, I need some testers please?

Willem van der Walt wvdwalt at
Wed Mar 26 05:15:37 EDT 2014

Kies is a console-based menu system with a lot of scripts to provide an 
easy to use interface to console programs.
Among others, it has a front end for scanning/OCR and a wifi configuration 
There is also a file browser  and a tool to create single-table databases.
We are going to use it for the SA-note which is a notetaker type device, 
so the tools need to be easy to use.
Kies can be  downloaded at
It would not yet contain the printer configuration scripts as our outside 
mirror takes forever to update.
As a separate download at the same address, there is an audio editer 
called  dae, again the idea is for it to be easy to use rather than to 
provide lots of features.
There is a web site for the SA-Note, but the marketing 
people did it, so is not quite my stile.
It might be the quickest way to find out what kies contain as almost all 
of the features of the device is provided through kies.
Kind regards, Willem

On Tue, 25 Mar 2014, D. Curtis Willoughby wrote:

> This sounds handy, but I have not had much trouble with
> edbrowse.  The worst problem is choosing the correct driver
> when edbrowse presents one or several hundreds of choices.
> Anyway, good luck with it.
> By the way, what else is in keis?
> D. Curtis Willoughby
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>> Hi,
>> I wrote, or rather started to write such a tool using the cups library
>> through python.
>> This will end up in the kies package I wrote, but for now, I am looking
>> for a few people that might be prepared to just test the software so far.
>> See below for more detail:
>> Kind regards, Willem
>> When one does not run a GUI, there are two ways to create/add a new print
>> queue to a modern Linux system.  The true command-line method mainly uses
>> lpadmin and IMHO some black magic for everything to work correctly.
>> The other method is by using the web interface to cups.  It is accessed by
>> going to a special web server running on port 631, e.g. lynx
>> localhost:631/admin.
>> This does work for adding a printer, but I find it to be a bit clunky.
>> There is however no place to set a default printer, anyway not when using
>> lynx, I think because of the lack of JavaScript support.  Even when only one
>> print queue is defined, it is not seen as the default unless one sets it to
>> the default.  This was what prompted me to look into writing something using
>> the cups library.
>> There are two programs, kies_set_default_printer and kies_add_printer.
>> Both are python scripts using the cups library to perform its functions.
>> The python-cups module needs to be installed.  It is available as a package
>> in most distributions.
>> On all the Ubuntu-based machines where I have tested the scripts, this
>> module was already installed.
>> A small program, catchkey, is required to catch the keys you press.  It is
>> provided with the kies package, but can be supplied separately with the two
>> print scripts.
>> Kies_set_default printer displays the queue name and allows for browsing the
>> queue list using the up and down arrow keys.  Pressing enter on a queue name
>> sets it as the default.
>> The message: "is the default" is displayed next to the default queue name.
>> By pressing the d key, the queue is removed.
>> Pressing q exits the program.
>> Kies_add_printer displays a list of devices with the info and location all
>> on a line.  This list can also be navigated using the up and down arrows.
>> Pressing q at this point will also exit the program without adding a
>> printer.
>> For local printers, the device need to be plugged in and switched on for the
>> software to show up an identifiable printer.
>> By pressing enter on one of these lines takes one to a list of printer make
>> and model entries for the driver.
>> The make is extracted from the info available on the device list, but I
>> could not get the model to be also automatically selected.
>> Pressing slash asks for a search string to help one quickly locate the
>> correct driver.  the n key is search next.  This is required because some of
>> the printer makes as provided, has a long list of drivers. HP has more than
>> 3000.  Once on the correct driver, press enter to select it.
>> One is then prompted to edit the queue name.  A suggested queue name is
>> constructed from the printer information data extracted from the provided
>> device info.
>> If you are happy with that name, just press enter to accept, or edit it to
>> your liking.
>> The print queue will now be created, enabled and set to accept print jobs.
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